Television

Why Dallas’ Rachel Lindsay is Set to Make Reality TV History

There’s only one thing that stands in the way of this lovely, relatable lawyer achieving a certain franchise first.

I truly hope Rachel Lindsay does not win The Bachelor. It’s clear at this point that the only potential deterrent for this successful, charismatic Dallasite to become the first African-American to star in The Bachelorette (or The Bachelor), is a proposal from Nick Viall.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve really come to like “Normcore Nick,” and think he deserves all the happiness and Instagram sponsorships his heart desires, but I want more for Rachel. Specifically, I want her to don glorious designer gowns and have the chance to choose a potential husband from an assemblage of eligible men. I also want to watch that happen every Monday night. If the past is any indication, the chances are good.

The Bachelor/Bachelorette has upheld an almost incestual selection process for its leads for the majority of its 15-year run. Just pick a person from the previous (or recent) season who lasted long enough for America to care about them finding love and was interesting enough for America to faithfully watch them do so. The chosen ones have usually made it to the final four or three—or in the case of Joelle Fletcher, the final two. If Nick asking Rachel what he should call her dad, a federal judge in Dallas, doesn’t ensure that she’ll make it to the “Home Town Date” portion of Nick’s season (which typically includes the final four contestants), then the season preview, in which Rachel appears to be in the country where—according to ABC’s December press release—Nick takes the final three women, pretty much cements it.

So she’s got the whole “lasted-long-enough” thing on lock. But will America tune in? If social media can be used as a popularity litmus test (and for a show like this, it certainly should), she nailed that, too.

America Loves Her

 

Bachelor Nation’s Inner Circle Loves Her

 

Nick Loves Her (But Hopefully Not Too Much)

All smiles all the time #thebachelor

A photo posted by Nick Viall (@nickviall) on

 

Be that as it may, the heads at ABC have been known to pull a bait-and-switch, especially in recent seasons. Both Caila Quinn and Luke Pell filmed their intro packages and had all but gotten on a free Delta flight when Fletcher and Viall were announced to the public. But this year’s selection for Bachelorette is different.

For years, and particularly during the show’s 20th season, the team behind The Bachelor/Bachelorette has been pressed on its lack of diversity and even went as far as to tease a diverse Bachelorette for the summer of 2016. And though their last-minute choice, Fletcher, has an Iranian mother, this probably wasn’t quite what they (or the public) had in mind with that tease. In ABC’s defense, there’s never been a male or female minority who truly matched the above criteria. (Of course, I’d be remiss in not mentioning former Bachelor Juan Pablo, who was Venezuelan-American, but after some anti-gay sentiments and a sprinkling of slut shaming, Pablo was widely regarded as the show’s worst star [in history!], so I’d imagine ABC would prefer to just sweep him under the rug.)

If our theories are correct, Rachel will be the first black contestant (male or female) to ever make the final four. She’s a poised, successful lawyer at Cooper & Scully, and she’s already garnered a loyal fan following. She’d make an incredible lead, and ABC would be crazy to miss this opportunity. During her one-on-one date in New Orleans on Monday night, she told the camera, “Because of what I do all day every, I can’t show emotion, and I can’t be weak. It’s been a long time since I’ve been vulnerable over somebody.” That’s next season’s intro reel right there.

The Bachelorette title is hers to win—by losing.

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